I’ve been curious about Kindle Vella for awhile, but I was so engrossed with my Kindle Unlimited books, I didn’t take the time to check it out. Then something happened to help me out a little with that.
Recently, I was contacted by an author to review his book. Since I was in between books at the time, I told him I could get started right away. Then he responded that his book wouldn’t be out until March, but he did have episodes posted on Kindle Vella.
Well, I certainly couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try out Vella and get a start on another awesome story. Isn’t it great when stuff lines up like that! Anyways, the following is a how to on Kindle Vella and my thoughts on A.R. Witham’s The Legend of Black Jack.
What Is Kindle Vella?
Kindle Vella is a place to read (and publish) serialized fiction. Any device that can download the kindle app can easily access Vella. It’s really geared toward readers who want a quick read on their phones.
A story is broken down into episodes (instead of chapters). These episodes can vary from author to author. I’ve seen some really long and some really short. One thing I like is that authors have an opportunity at the end of each episode to address the audience directly in A Note From Author. Sometimes there’s little stories extras in the note, or information to contact the author directly if desired.
Another cool feature is if you liked the episode, then you can do a thumbs up at the end of it.
How Does Vella Work?
Go to the Vella main page and start browsing available stories. There’s quite a bit to choose from. You can browse by genre, top favorites, recently added stories, or featured stories.
Once you click on a story, it will show a short description, how many episodes are posted so far, an average of episode update frequency, and a list of episodes so you can go into each one directly (you can also easily just click next chapter if you are in the story reading).
All stories on Kindle Vella have the first three episodes as free. This way readers can get a feel for the story before they decide if they want to continue. After that, each episode require tokens to purchase. The amount of tokens depends on the length of the episode. It can range anywhere from 20 tokens to 48 (48 is the most I’ve spent on an episode so far, haven’t seen any higher as of yet).
Vella even gets you started with 200 free tokens, after that there are multiple tears of token packages to choose from ranging from $1.99 to $14.99.
Readers can further show their appreciation of stories by leaving a review and/or crowning a story as a top fav. Top faved crowns are given with each purchase of a token package, which allows the reader to then give to their favorite story.
Really it’s about that simple. I love how easy to use Vella is and the more personable way authors can connect with their readers (and vice versa).
My Review of The Legend of Black Jack By A.R. Witham
I have to admit, I’m really glad my debut story to Kindle Vella was The Legend of Black Jack. It’s a story that has certainly caught my attention and imagination. It is a fantasy adventure and coming of age story about a teen called Jack Swift.
Jack is exceptionally smart who can remember anything he hears or reads, which makes him a bit of a genius, but no one cares. Since the death of his parents, Jack has been alone. All he has left is his desire to absorb as much information as possible.
Eventually, he realizes he wants to become a doctor, so while normal teens do normal teen things, Jack is reading any medical book he can get his hands on. Little did he know how valuable this knowledge would become for him.
One night, a monster enters his room and kidnaps Jack. Before he knows it, Jack Swift is spirited to another reality where there’s a desperate need for a doctor and they are all looking to teenage Jack for answers. Overwhelmed, Jack has some decisions to make.
And that’s just the beginning of the adventure. The story continues as Jack tries to find his way in another world very different from his own where war is raging and he can’t read the local language (which for a boy who is used to knowing things, it’s a problem he can’t quite get over).
Jack is pushed to his limits as he learns to survive in this strange place of magik and monsters, and along the way he hears about a legend that sounds eerily familiar The Legend of Black Jack.
As of the posting of this review, the story currently has 18 episodes available.
So yeah, I am super excited about this new way to read stories! If you have a Kindle Vella story (or have read one you really liked), please feel free to share a link in the comments below.